Sunday, October 21, 2012
Superb birding from 7:30-9:30am today, in still, warm conditions, from the swamp at Ferndale to the fields bordering Ellsmore Rd, and then to Morton NP and the bottom of Erith Coal Mine, produced sixty species, including my first Variegated Fairy-wren for the Southern Highlands, which I stumbled upon on the track to Erith Coal Mine. The individual was a striking male. I'm surprised it's taken me so long to find one in the Highlands. The other birds worth mentioning were Dollarbird (which came back a couple of days ago), Shining Bronze-cuckoo (a pair whistled in near Ferndale Reserve; they were then mobbed by Brown Thornbills and Grey Fantails), Leaden Flycatcher, Pilotbird (heard, not seen, as per usual; when will I ever see one?), Rockwarbler (up close at the top of the falls at Erith Coal Mine; uttered harsh scrubwren-like scolding call when I imitated it), Rufous Whistlers, Common Koel, Olive-backed Oriole, Eastern Whipbird, Buff-rumped Thornbill, White-throated Gerygone, Noisy Friarbird and a White-browed Scrubwren I buzzed/clicked to that came within two feet of my right foot! LJ, October 21 2012.
Sunday, October 7, 2012
The NPWS crew must have been burning Morton NP last week, when I was in Braidwood, Ulladulla and Kioloa with an old mate, in pursuit of Hooded Plovers, Masked Owls and Olive Whistlers (see Birdline NSW at www.eremaea.com for more on that). The area burnt stretches between Gambells Rest and Grand Canyon Lookout. It is a black and gold wasteland, with many of the scribbly gums unscathed, oddly. There is no understorey remaining. The only birds in the wasted area were Laughing Kookaburras, probably looking for any exposed lizards. We're expecting an intense fire season over summer. Hopefully this burning has helped. LJ, October 7 2012.
The season's first Common Koel called yesterday and a Channel-billed Cuckoo called the day before (and yesterday). The Koel arrived the same day as last year, according to my records. The CBC is a couple of weeks early. As usual, the CBC was skirting the edge of Morton NP. LJ, 7 October 2012.
Friday, October 5, 2012
I had to get away from correcting Year 11 creative writing papers for a while, late morning. I've almost finished the pile of 150+. Headed down to sewage treatment plant area in hot, windy conditions. Great to see 3 Brown-headed Honeyeaters - huddled together like woodswallows - attempting to fend off the wind (something I've not seen them do before). They were allopreening for a while too. Dusky Woodswallows and White-throated Gerygones are back now. Several Rufous Whistlers were calling. A woman drove past, asked me whether I was bird watching. When I said yes, she said, "Good on you", then drove off. LJ, October 5 2012.
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Gutsy winds tossed about fifty White-browed Woodswallows over home on the morning of September 29th. I've had very little to do with these birds over the years. They were my first WBWs for the Southern Highlands and species 140 for home. They're striking things up close. Their call is the call of a sparrow on steroids. On another note, Rufous Whistlers and Shining Bronze-cuckoos are back. I heard a few near the sewage treatment plant yesterday. Now for the Dollarbirds, Common Koels, Channel-billed Cuckoos and Black-faced Monarchs... LJ, October 3 2012.